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Living in the Age of Contradiction

Progressivists break the laws of thought with impunity.

by
David Solway

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October 12, 2013 - 12:06 am
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My first philosophy professor at the university, when it could still be plausibly described as a place of learning, was a deceptively brilliant man. Professor Henderson was prone to delivering a string of resonant tautologies as if permitting us a glimpse into the most solemn and abyssal mysteries of metaphysical speculation. I recall in particular one lecture in which, before a packed but comatose auditorium of resentful sophomores, he expounded on the great dictum of the pre-Socratic sage Parmenides: “Whatever is, is.” Those of us who were still awake had no idea how to react. Should we ask for an explication? Were we missing something? Were we too callow to fathom so profound an indubitably mystical utterance? Or, more cynically, if this was philosophy, was it a discipline we should consider pursuing? Whatever is, is?

I got to know Professor Henderson a little better in the latter years of the general arts curriculum and discovered a number of salient facts about him: he was a friend of Bertrand Russell, whom he called “Bertie,” was chauffeured to university in the back seat of a silver-and-green Bentley, like a contemporary Plato on a visit to the court of Dionysius of Syracuse, and always managed to suggest that the given was precisely that which was rarely understood, that the obvious was usually inscrutable to the lazy mind. Clearly, he was no rubicund eminence waiting to be pastured out into the land of memoirs and reminiscences, as many of his students tended to think, but an impressive scholar familiar with the arcana of his subject. Whatever is, indeed is. It is more than we assume and at the same time less than we typically dissemble. “We have great trouble,” he once said to me, “with the is. We are far more comfortable with the is not. Pity.”

Half a lifetime later, I find myself thinking back to Professor Henderson’s Parmenidean analysis of the world, not so much in a metaphysical but in a political and cultural framework. It seems far more pertinent to me now than it did when I was his often baffled student. We live in a very strange time, an age whose mindset is dominated by the spirit of contradiction and non sequitur, as if in a concerted assault on the Parmenidean apothegm and its expansion in Aristotle’s laws of thought as enunciated in the Metaphysics: namely, the laws of Identity, Non-contradiction and the Excluded Middle. It seems that we in the West have taken direct aim at these axioms, which govern coherent thinking and are clearly mutually implicated. The Law of Identity, a slightly exfoliated re-statement of the Parmenidean maxim, maintains that “everything is the same with itself and different from another”; that is, everything that exists has a specific nature and cannot be something other while retaining its particularity. The Law of Non-contradiction stipulates that “one cannot say of something that it is and is not in the same respect and at the same time.” The Law of the Excluded Middle states that “there cannot be an intermediate between contradictories, but of one subject we must either affirm or deny any one predicate.”

Violation of these laws in the domains of experience and discourse cannot be explained away as a manifestation of fuzzy logic, as developed by AI researcher Lotfi Zadeh in the 1960s, who used the concept of “degrees of truth” to refine the laws of mathematics and their eventual application to computer technology. We use fuzzy logic in everyday life in those cases where judgment is inherently uncertain — how fast is that car approaching? — or playfully paradoxical — is the glass half full or half empty? But in the sphere of determinate events — the jetliners piloted by jihadists are flying toward the towers in order to kill as many people as possible — logic can be fuzzified only at our peril. In other words, fuzzy logic is not the same thing as fuzzy thinking; the first is chiefly the purview of competent specialists in a scientific discipline (and individuals in intrinsically fluid situations), the latter is the staple of the liberal intelligentsia, post-modernists, post-colonialists and progressivist ideologues.

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The oldest, continuously recorded, deed in the history of the world is the deed of the Jews to The Land of Israel.

In fact all property deeds all over the world rely on the criteria established by Abraham in his purchase of Machpelah as assertion of their own moral and legal authority.

Metes and bounds, witnesses, free will of buyer and seller, amount of currency and method of payment, when and where the transaction took place and its being recorded in writing are all criteria established in that first transaction.

When people dispute the right of Jews to The Land of Israel they are unwittingly undermining the moral basis for property rights everywhere.


41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
David Solway, As one who pursued Philosophy until the need to make a living intruded, I enjoyed your essay tremendously. But I can't help but wonder why are they destroying the world? Surely they can't believe they'll survive that which they sow? Are they insane? Are we insane to defer to them? We hesitate from leading the mob to haul out our politicians, tar and feather them and send them packing to the nearest insane asylum. Yet they lead us to death and we meekly follow like those poor Jews and others who meekly boarded trains to Nazi death camps in WW2. I am reminded of the saying, Those whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad. I'm am beginning to agree with those who say G-d is taking his vengeance on us for violating the rules he set upon us in this world. Either we denounce and act against this great Evil before us or He will wipe it out and those who silently submit to it for fear of the IRS, the kangaroo courts, the police state ready to kill us in order to protect us. There's a reason that all law derives from natural law, yet we mock natural law and in time will suffer the consequences. It' time to choose, no middle ground, no I was against it when I voted for it, no cafeteria Catholicism, no forcing a law like Obamacare down everyone's throats without even reading it. No hiding from it. Choose one of two sides, G-d or Mammon. If Satan is the father of Lies, certainly Obama is his son. How else to explain how we meekly agree to every self-contradiction, every lie uttered daily now from his lips.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"In this manner, nobility, experience and wisdom are themselves seen to reside in one's appearance and gender.

I guess that explains allegiance to that dumb, sniveling, lying, dissembling creature who is the democrats' go-to girl for 2016.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (58)
All Comments   (58)
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Contradictories cannot be true together. There is no middle ground between contradictories. We may draw only such conclusions as are warranted by the evidence. If a proposition is true; then it is true in all situations. A thing either has a certain property or it does not. Thats how we all should reason. And, irsagee, stick it!
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
if there was a Palestinian state, holding all Palestinians, which then attacked Israel, Israel would be justified in the destruction of Palestine.
seems like a win-win.
martyrdom for pale's, no more palestine for Israel
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are forgetting that Israel is at least as PC as the West, and that the Leftist Nomenklatura controls the courts and the media. At the end the West, which attempts to enforce a pseudo-Christian morality of turning the other cheek (no matter what) on the Jews, will do what it need to defend itself. I'm not so sure we will.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't conflate FDR with the righteous American soldiers, sailors and marines of World War II. It may be true that Roosevelt, as a Socialist, was a traitor to the founding principles of our nation which are in fact anathema to Socialism. As a Socialist Roosevelt believed that it is OK for some men (the men of Federal Government) to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor; whereas our Founding Fathers believed the opposite - that each man may do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor.

"With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name - liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names - liberty and tyranny." Abraham Lincoln

http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=1067




41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
And many of them were slave holders. And Lincoln,(excuse the expression), felt free to deprive slaveholders of their property and to unconstitutionally issue the Emancipation Proclamation and to suspend habeas corpus during the War of Northern Aggression.The socalled "reconstruction", which destroyed the infrastructure of the South and the denial of the franchise to white men are other examples of Lincolnism in action.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Conrad Black writes: "Roosevelt was a capitalist, and he saved capitalism. He made mistakes, as he said he would, but he salvaged 95% of the system, maintained the moral integrity of the country, and focused the rage and frustration of the era on the country’s true enemies — foreign imperialists. The charge of aspiring to a blended system with Stalinist Communism, with its liquidations and gulags, is unfounded and disgusting. FDR considered it an equivalent evil to Nazism and publicly said so during the Russo-Finnish war, and privately many times, including in his correspondence with Pius XII." From "Roosevelt the traitor? Absurd"
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
i suspect most of what he did was ad hoc and not driven by ideology as much as circumstance.
it may be a poor explanation and is not an excuse, but probably true for most rulers.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
“There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs to freedom. So it was that a revolution took place within the form. Like the hagfish, the New Deal entered the old form and devoured its meaning from within. The revolutionaries were inside; the defenders were outside. A government that had been supported by the people and so controlled by the people became one that supported the people and so controlled them… For a significant illustration of what has happened to words, of the double meaning that inhabits them, put in contrast what the New Deal means when it speaks of preserving the American system of free private enterprise and what American business means when it speaks of defending it. To the New Deal these words, the American system of free private enterprise, stand for a conquered province. To the businessman the same words stand for a world that is in danger and may have to be defended…You do not defend a world that is already lost. When was it lost? That you cannot say precisely. It is a point for the revolutionary historian to ponder. We know only that it was surrendered peacefully, without a struggle, almost unawares. There was no day, no hour, no celebration of the event; and yet definitely, the ultimate power of initiative did pass from the hands of private enterprise to government. There it is and there it will remain until, if ever, it shall be reconquered. Certainly government will never surrender without a struggle.” Garet Garrett

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/garrett1.html

41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Roosevelt was a socialist in the Marxist tradition; the only capitalism he cared for was crony capitalism which is socialism in the Fascist tradition. So, Roosevelt was a capitalist in the sense that the Kings of England were capitalists because European Monarchy was the precursor to Fascist Socialism.

"The chief of all the Capitalists was called the King." George Orwell - 1984

41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Conrad Black (Oct 12, 2013) wrote another article (re: Diana West), entitled: "Roosevelt the traitor? Absurd" (published in the National Post). I agree with Black's assessment. Conrad Black's final sentence reads: "Whatever injustices any of us may have suffered, they do not entitle us to defame the justly honoured dead, invent and deform history, or impugn the righteousness of our civilization — flawed and tainted and often riddled with hypocrisy though it is, but the best the world has had." (Perhaps the need to reverse reality -- stand reality on its head -- is not just a "progressive" affliction, but something wider spread).
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Great essay. Great comments. This is a keeper.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I like the irony of your first conclusion. The left so rabidly defends evolution, but at the same time they so desperately want to free mankind from its grip because then they can dismiss all our evolutionary, animal instincts because they are inconvenient to the narrative. This is the same crowd that whole-heartedly believes in global warming/climate change even though climate changes are one of the drivers of evolution, something they profess to believe greatly in ... If they stop the climate from changing, what happens to evolution.

My supposition is that they would prefer to make themselves gods and outside of nature and her God entirely thus freeing themselves, in their own minds, from any responsibility to it or Him. But it leads to a lot of contradictions of all you know and all you think you know in the meantime because it necessitates that they remake the world in their image.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Do you suppose that, just maybe, Dubya had some hired help both in college and as POTUS?He is stupid and his wife is evil. Note that the current disease infesting the White House is evil and his wife is stupid. Does nature compensate, or what?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Unfortunately, one cannot vote comments down. If I could, I would.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The absurdity doesn’t stop there. Such theorists also assert that gender — some even go so far as to say sex — is entirely a social construct, one’s identity as feminine or masculine, female or male unrelated to one’s physical anatomy. Anatomy is a delusion, a mere datoid that disguises the “truth” that gender identity is voluntary, an expression of desire or feeling rather than palpably somatic, a physical fact of nature. We are not dealing here with the rigors of evolutionary biology but with the illicit and puerile effort to force nature to conform to ideology. A man is a woman is a hermaphrodite — a blatant violation of the Law of Identity."

Have a care, please, that you do not oversimplify either to the point of absurdity or un-Christian rudeness--fostering evil.

This is a woman (NSFW).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Complete_androgen_insensitivity_syndrome.jpg

And speaking as someone with some formal training in physics, this pun is wicked.

"today he will be virtually centrifugal"

I hope you were smiling when you wrote it.

BTW, Mach's conjecture as to the origin of inertia may well lead to the way for us to take this show on the road.

I'll post two links in separate replies so they aren't spam blocked.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
The upshot of this thread and the experimental results referenced in it, and in the book by Woodward are that Star Trek style impulse drive is certainly possible, and "only" a question of the engineering at this point.

This means the galaxy is ours at a good fraction of c, and if the "negative energy" term is a real reflection in math of reality, at many multiples of c.

http://talk-polywell.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2215
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment


The oldest, continuously recorded, deed in the history of the world is the deed of the Jews to The Land of Israel.

In fact all property deeds all over the world rely on the criteria established by Abraham in his purchase of Machpelah as assertion of their own moral and legal authority.

Metes and bounds, witnesses, free will of buyer and seller, amount of currency and method of payment, when and where the transaction took place and its being recorded in writing are all criteria established in that first transaction.

When people dispute the right of Jews to The Land of Israel they are unwittingly undermining the moral basis for property rights everywhere.


41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
But scripture prescribes that the grant to Abraham was contingent upon the obedience of the Jews to God's commands. Yes, they did receive the entire grant. No, they were far from obedient and thus forfeited the grant.

Those who pretend to think outside the laws of logic are fakers; indulging their sexual perversions and attempting to justify them with various false, subjectivist rationales. Sociopathy is the father of Progressivism.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
You aren't listening. You are reading what you wish.

He is speaking of the Cave of the Patriarchs, which was PURCHASED. Three things were intntionally purchased - in Hebron, in Shchem (Nablus), in Jerusalem. All three are being claimed by the Arabs.

On your other point, scripture says that any relinquishment is temporary.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
To mzk: Sir, you aren't listening. You are reading what you wish. The jews, (I am ethnically jewish; religiously christian), continue in disobedience by refusing to trust, love and obey Jesus Christ as the M, essiah, and thus continue to refuse God's grant under the conditions upon which it is based. Since God created all things, they are all His, and He is free to use them as He sees fit. We exchange the use of things for money, but He remains the real owner.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your logic is perverted. The Jews have kept faith with The Almighty. We have forfeited nothing. We are here in our eternal homeland. Your beliefs are demonstrably false.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Never mind that golden calf thing, and the fact EVERY stone age tribe contended that their god/s/ess/esses gave them their land.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Um, God gave us the land AFTER the golden calf.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
And as you know, most people's gearbox is broken and they can only shift between dumb and stupid.....'>.......
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's as may be, but you don't want to make a category error, or six. Obambus' pronouncements are those of a half-bright child. There is usually a kernel of truth to them somewhere, he heard a learned argument, found some aspect of it convenient, hijacks and misapplies it.

What is different is only that the MSM has no interest in parsing this out. It's not hard, but they are motivated not to do it, not to even notice it.

Frankly, how many in the public are motivated to do so? Far fewer than can. Most people just go about their lives, and Washington is so far away. And we count on the press and other elites in government to do their job, not elect some fool and follow him blindly. When all that fails, it's not a matter of broken logic but many practical assumptions failed and no simple solutions at hand.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
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